HERMENEGILDO Serafica, who took his oath as administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) Friday, September 29, encouraged sugarcane farmers in the province to continue to be vigilant and competitive to survive the challenges faced the sugar industry.
Serafica was sworn in by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol at the SRA office in Bacolod City.
He attended the consultation-dialogue of Piñol with the sugar workers and farmers at the Capitol Social Hall.
“First of all, I would like to thank the President and Secretary Piñol for giving me their trust and confidence. There are a lot of challenges in the sugar industry especially among the small farmers,” Serafica said.
He also said that Sugar Order No. 3 will remain as it is amid the threat of the high fructose corn syrup to the sugar industry.
“I was part of Sugar Order No. 3 and it will remain as such and I assure the sugarcane industry that it is still binding and we have the support of the Secretary and the President,” Serafica added.
He refused to discuss the Sugarcane Industry Development Act because of the ongoing deliberation of the 2018 national budget.
“I do not want to preempt the budget for the industry,” he said.
Serafica also told the sugar farmers: “We should reduce the cost of production to compete with our Asian neighbors. There's no more going back. Let's look forward to farm mechanization. We have to accept the fact that mechanization is the only way to go.”